Wellesley, Mass. -- January 28, 2012 -- Led by a career-high 27 points from Kelly Slattery, the Springfield College women's basketball team held off a late surge from Wellesley College for a 60-57 overtime win this afternoon at the Keohane Sports Center. The victory lifts the Pride to 11-8 overall, 7-5 in NEWMAC play. Wellesley drops to 9-8, 8-4 in conference play.
Slattery's previous career-high was 25 in a NEWMAC quarterfinal playoff win last year.
In a hard-fought first half, Springfield used a solid inside game, led by Slattery's 14 points, to open an early lead. The Pride out-rebounded the Blue 19-15 and out-scored them in the paint 20-8 in the half, but Wellesley kept things interesting with five buckets from beyond the arc, including three from Elisha Orama. The Pride went to the locker room with a 31-28 advantage.
The squads traded baskets through the opening minutes of the second period, until a layup from Wellesley's Leslie Leong gave the Blue its first lead of the game at 41-40 with 10:49 remaining. Two minutes later, the Blue capitalized on four consecutive offensive boards to earn an uncontested jumper and a 45-42 advantage. On the next possession, a layup from Wellesley's Ashleigh Sargent pushed the lead to five with 7:22 left on the clock.
Two free throws from the Pride's Jaimie Bickelhaupt cut the lead to 47-44, and two more from Slattery pulled Springfield to within one at the 2:38 mark. Two points from the charity stripe pushed the Wellesley lead to 49-46, but two free throws from the Pride's Colleen Dignum pulled the visitors to within one. Dignum followed with a three-pointer to give the Pride a 51-49 lead with 41 seconds remaining. After 30 seconds of tight defense from both teams, Leong grabbed an offensive board for the Blue and her put-back tied the game at 51-51 with 2 seconds left, sending the game into overtime.
The teams traded buckets early in the extra period, until two points from Slattery gave the visitors a 57-55 lead with 1:30 remaining. Wellesley tied the game at 57-57 with free throws from Malia Maier and Morgyne Weaver with :38 left, but Slattery answered with two more from the line at the 12-second mark as the Pride held on for the 60-57 win.
Springfield's Slattery led all players with 27 points and added seven rebounds and four steals as well. Kelly Murphy added 12 points, three steals, and two assists. Dignum tallied 10 points for the Pride, including five key points late in the second period to push the game to overtime. Andrea Butler recorded seven boards and five assists for the visitors.
For the Blue, Orama and Leong dropped in 12 a piece. Leong also led all players with 14 rebounds, including six at the offensive end. Meghan Sargent tallied 10 points for Wellesley, while Maier chipped in seven, to go along with seven steals.
Both squads return to action on Wednesday, February 1. Springfield will host Smith College at 7:30 pm, while Wellesley travels to cross-town rival Babson for a 7 pm match-up.